FIRST LOOK: Bruce Hwy upgrade to transform Coast
MAJOR upgrades will soon begin to transform two of the Sunshine Coast's notorious congestion hot spots, which intersect the Bruce Highway at key entrances to the region.
John Holland - Seymour Whyte Joint Venture was today announced as the major contractor behind the Bruce Highway Upgrade - Maroochydore Rd and Mons Rd interchanges project.
Preliminary utilities works are already under way and forecast to finish late April, with major works set to start in the coming months and be completed by late 2022.
Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien said the $301.25 million upgrades would increase safety, capacity and traffic flow for cars, pedestrians and cyclists in the stretches which were known for bottlenecks and bingles.
Mr O'Brien said more than 20,000 vehicles a day drove the Maroochydore Rd roundabout, which connects the Bruce Highway with the Nambour Connection Rd nearby the Big Pineapple, and Maroochydore Rd near Kunda Park.
"A new four-lane eastbound bridge over the Bruce Highway at the Maroochydore Rd interchange will increase capacity, while traffic signals at the four ramp-intersections on the interchange will improve safety," Mr O'Brien said.
"Importantly, constructing service roads between the Maroochydore and Mons Rd interchanges to separate community and highway traffic will mean local families get home sooner and safer.
"The design includes the additional two-way service roads east and west of the highway and an extension of Owen Creek Rd to the Sunshine Coast Grammar School, reducing congestion on Mons Rd. Active transport measures will also be introduced with provisions for cyclists and pedestrians through the Maroochydore Rd interchange connecting to the east service road."
John Holland Seymour Whyte Joint Venture is the group behind the Bruce Highway upgrade from Caloundra Rd to the Sunshine Motorway, due to be completed later this year.
Mr O'Brien said their appointment was good news for local subcontractors who would benefit from some of the 380 jobs created throughout the project's lifespan.
Queensland's Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the announcement was an important milestone for the more than $2 billion worth of Bruce Highway upgrades happening in the region. "The Bruce plays a major role in our state's economy and this is an exciting opportunity for local contractors to once again be involved in another major road project for the Sunshine Coast," Mr Bailey said.
Mr O'Brien said 2020 was forecast to be a "big year" for Sunshine Coast infrastructure, including the completion of the Sunshine Coast International Airport Project.
Mr O'Brien said amid the coronavirus crisis, large infrastructure jobs such as these should give confidence "the world is going ahead".
He said the financial commitment for such government-funded works would not be compromised by the pandemic as they were locked in and budgeted. Mr O'Brien said there was less certainty around people's ability to get out and do the work, but did not foresee an issue at this time.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrade of the Maroochydore Rd and Mons Rd interchanges was part of the 15-year, $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program.